I went into my son’s room at 9 o’clock as usual, to tuck him in bed. He doesn’t actually need me to tuck him in but I’ve been making myself do it because I left my family once, and I wanted my little boy to know that I was back and here to stay.
The past was… strange and painful, and I was determined to push it away.
As I approached his bed I noticed how quiet and still the room was. My first thought was that my boy was feeling unwell.
I got to the bed and there he was, already under the covers, looking up at me with eyes wide with… fear?
‘What’s the matter champ?’
‘Dad…?’ came his little voice, ‘I think there’s something under my bed,’
Immediately I reeled, my mind was spinning. Images and sounds came flooding me as ice spread through my body.
Either there was something under my son’s bed, or my son was under the bed and something was pretending to be him.
Both ways, I could not go. My breathing became rapid and shallow. Not again, no, no, this was not possible.
I stumbled a few steps away from the bed, peeling my eyes away. I paused for what felt like forever… and then I left.
I was leaving again. But this time I was not coming back, ever.